Tag Archives: Recession

Distract, Distraction, Distracted.



I’ve always been easily distracted. An open window can be a portal to another time and space. I can watch the bees buzz and the wasps wing by for hours.  Sometimes it’s just the dishes or the laundry. Then there are times when I remember a poem I wrote many years, hard drives, floppy disks and thumb drives ago, and I want/need to see it, and I go foraging in boxes and journals for looking for it, for hours. And then there is life. 

A friend with a new baby called, I hope he’s not driving by the time I go see him. Life happens.

This is so incredibly intense, that I have to remind myself that distraction can be a good thing. We are on this journey and if you stare straight ahead at the road, you might miss something really great along the side. Like that 8ft ball of twine some guy keeps in his front yard that I keep reading about in Ripley’s. Talk about focus and dedication.

Right now, I’m distracted by a couple of things, graduate school for one, and some other personal things, but it doesn’t mean that I’ve lost focus. I’m having to glance at the side of the road, check out that ball of string and some other oddities,  I’ve stopped the car, but I know where I’m headed.  The theme from Mahogany just popped into my head. Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? 

Something spectacular is just around the bend…


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Filed under May, Recession

Help A Mother Out–Point, Click and Give.



“If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” 

     Mother Teresa 


    Lisa Truong and Rachel Fudge created “Help A Mother Out” (HAMO) to share information, network, and inspire action. It might take a village to raise a child, but it only takes one of you to point, click and give to “help a mother out.” Truong and Fudge aren’t asking for thousands of dollars from the recession weary. Rather, they’ve streamlined giving into something that any Internet savvy wanna be philanthropist can do. Go to the website, point your cursor at any of the non-profits listed under “Amazon Wish List.” Click on the link, look over the list and give. Point, click and give, it’s that easy. 

     The friends were motivated to start HAMO after they attended a benefit knitting class at a woman’s daytime drop in shelter. A passionate appeal from the center’s volunteer director for basic things such as diapers and personal care items stayed with the friends after the event was over.     

     Lisa told Recession Daily, “I had no business starting this blog/campaign. [My] husband works a lot and I have minimal childcare. I work on HAMO stuff during nap times, after bedtime, on the weekends, in between family chaos.

    Lisa, a stay-at-home-mom with 2 small children candidly shares that she’s been,  “laid off so many times in my career I can’t even count…” She and her husband (who is employed by a small business) have learned to live frugally.

    Rachel chimed in, “The creation of HAMO was pretty off the cuff, although I think both Lisa and I were itching to have a project to work on outside of family/paid work. We did not, however, anticipate things taking off like this! We’re just two friends who’ve called in a lot of favors and networked our butts off.”

     Rachel works full-time as a freelance editor. She also worked as an editor at the nonprofit, small-budget magazine, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, and served on its board of directors for 7 years. “My parents founded a nonprofit 25 years ago, so I grew up with the idea, volunteered, etc. I know my way around nonprofits and fundraising, but I’m no expert.”

   Microphilanthropy is a burgeoning movement in which donors make small gifts to a specific cause or action. It’s a paradigm shift in giving, from an emotional appeal to major donors, to a proactive request for everyday people to play a part in philanthropy and in this case,  simply meet basic human needs.

    Lisa talked about the creation of HAMO. “A year ago I was ‘off the grid’ with social networking. I was anti-social networking. Using the blogosphere, we have been able to meet and tweet some really interesting and like-minded folks. We have utilized Gmail, Google apps, Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Amazon.com and WordPress.”

      Microphilanthropy works in conjunction with the wealth of information available on the Internet and the prominence that social networking has gained. By using charity information sites like Guidestar and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter microphilanthopy leverages available information and the connectivity of an individual as a force for good. Simply, you choose your charity, you give, you ask your network to give and all of a sudden there’s a movement going on. A response to a cause.

     “HAMO was started less than 3 months ago and has grown organically. The only expectation we had in the beginning was to get our close friends and family to buy some diapers and personal care items and share news with them about tent cities. After starting HAMO and contacting agencies, a world has opened up to us that we think others should know about.” Lisa explains.

    “Right now we are focusing on our May Donation Campaign and getting the word out. Aside from donation bins we are not asking for cash donations for HAMO. We want to show people that they can make a difference in their OWN community and give them easy steps to do it by way of the Amazon.com wish lists or by donating extra supplies they already have.”

     Point, click and give, it’s that easy. No one said you had to give until it hurt, just a little bit, enough to help a mother out. 

     Something spectacular is just around the bend…     


Filed under May, Recession

All The Single Moms Put Your Hands Up!


     My unemployment ends in one month and there are no extended benefits for me because the institution I used to work for is a non-profit. The unemployment benefits they provide are not under the State of California. So I’ve been saving my pocket change. Health insurance is my biggest concern and besides rent, my biggest expense. I’ve applied for a state program for hard to insure folks like me, there is a waiting list, hopefully it will move quickly.  

     No one would describe me as being financially savvy. I could write a poem about it, but to actually sit and crunch numbers has never been my strong suit. Let’s just say, after being laid off, I’ve given this area of my life a lot more attention. I found this great site called SingleMomFinancialHelp.com . 

    From their site:

     This site provides Financial Help For Single Parents with the latest financial information on topics ranging from education, financial, credit, home, work and much more. This site is updated almost daily.

     Whether it is the current national economy or your own personal financial situation, you are likely going to face difficult financial times at some point in your life. Knowing how to handle this ahead of time will protect you from potential financial ruin. Below are some articles, tips and advice that you can use when managing your money, family and home in difficult times.

   Go on… click it

    Something spectacular is just around the bend…


Filed under March

Humanizing the Recession

    Today Oprah is doing a show with Lisa Ling. Ling is following a homeless family around Sacramento in an attempt to humanize the recession. 

    This is the third week I’ve been without a job. 

    I’m watching while re-working my resume for the umpteenth time. Ling gets my attention when she asks one of the little girls the most inane question. “Hannah?  She said. “Do you like being here?”  She is speaking of the homeless shelter they now call home. WTF? 

     Now more than ever I notice the homeless, I notice the women and men with their signs. At this point, I suppose I should say, that that could be me. But I will not say that. I will not imagine myself and my daughter without a home.

     I am determined to get through this despite the moral failure of those we elected and trusted to guide this country. Despite that we needed them not to be consumed by greed and to make decisions that benefitted many instead of a few. Despite that they chose instead, one more house, another car. I know you’ve heard it all before. I just need to say it again.

     The real faces of the recession?  Bush. Cheney. Wall Street Execs. Everyone who turned their head. Didn’t blow the whistle. Pressed their foot on the gas.

     The human faces of the recession?  Me. My tween-let.

      Last week two women from my last job invited me to lunch. They had taken up  a collection for me. People at my former job, many who don’t have a lot themselves gave generously, concerned about the precarious position I am now in. What I’ve learned from this is how many friends I have, how many people love and care about what happens to me and my daughter.  

     Humanizing the recession Oprah, Lisa? These two women have done just that. 

     Till next time– Keep it in the light!


Filed under February